Showing posts with label geography. Show all posts
Showing posts with label geography. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Changing Boundaries

            When there are not enough active members attending church, wards may combine as others are done away with.  When there is growth in the church, new wards and stakes are created. I have lived in such areas that affected ward boundaries.

            I am too young to remember when my mom and neighbors were a part of the third ward.  I had always known us as the forth.  Just after or right before I had graduated high school, it was announced that our ward boundaries would be changing as our stake would include members on the west side of state street.  One and a half streets were made a part of the seventh ward.  I remember there wasn't much support in the "sustaining vote" - nevertheless, it was carried out.  

            It wasn't too many years later when I was out on my mission, mom wrote to tell me that another stake would be created and we would have our one and a half streets of members back in our ward.  I remember, sometime after returning home from my mission,  a brother giving a talk in sacrament meeting about a short-lived calling that he had accepted in the 7th ward.  He had been called as a counselor in the bishopric and served for one week before it was dissolved.  I remember him saying he had never been part of a ward that had been dissolved,  let alone had accepted and served such a short calling.  

            Even though the 7th ward had been "dissolved" - it was due to the growth of a new stake. It seemed to be an opposite problem when I lived in Kearns.
            We had a bishop who had compared our ward boundaries to a giant apartment building in which move-ins and moving out happened so constantly that it was sometimes difficult to keep track - especially as the church would continue mailing back church records as it was always the "last known address"  We would even get records of members with addresses that were not even a part of the ward boundaries.  

            The stake lost two wards during the time that we lived there.  I remember one member complaining that she had lived in eight different wards during her marriage and lived at the same address through all eight changes.  Thus when the stake announced that the boundaries would change again, I was prepared to live in another ward.  The change put my next-door neighbor in a different ward than I; she was not happy about the change after having lived in the same ward for over 30 years.

            Before we moved to Douglas County, Canyonville and Myrtle Creek had been two separate wards.  I don't know when the boundaries changed, but the wards were combined and the church building in Canyonville was sold. It takes 45 min to an hour for some of our ward members to get to the building in Myrtle Creek.

            When we moved to Douglas County there were six wards: Winston, South Umpqua, Sutherlin, Roseburg, Melrose and Newton Creek.  The last three all Roseburg wards but none go by those names anymore, but rather names of the dividing streets: Garden Valley, Harvard, North Umpqua, and Parkway.  Growth:  our stake now has seven wards.  South Umpqua, North Umpqua, and Sutherlin are the largest wards geographically. Each ward is geographically larger than the other four wards put together. May we continue to grow.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Learning Geography part 1: What Frustration

World geography has got to be one of the most frustrating subjects as it is constantly changing.  Should Jenna ever learn about the names of countries and border locations and such, I think for the most part will be quite different from what I learned. Creating maps is an endless task – but I suppose if that’s the field of work you’ve gone into, well, then you will never be out of work.

 In my sixth grade history class we were given blank maps as part of our world geography – or so I’m assuming that’s what was being taught.  I specifically remember working on a European map, but for whatever reason, our time in the classroom was cut short and so we were allowed to take the maps home and fill them out there according to our own resources as we were not allowed to take the text books home.

We didn’t have the resources of today where one can go to Google and pull up a large variety of maps and find information on each country with just a click of a button.  We had encyclopedias and a series of “Let’s Travel to” books and a couple of atlases.  I started with an atlas and the frustration set in.  The map in the atlas did not have as many boundary lines as the map I had brought home.  What the flip? 

 I don’t know what led me to check the publication date.  1935.  Oh, no wonder.  The European boundaries had surely changed boundaries a few times in the 40 year period that took place between the atlas publication and my homework assignment.  I went in search of another atlas.

A few years ago I purchased a second hand game called, “Where in the World
that came with six maps.  I figured that if Jenna ever learned geography, perhaps the maps and maybe even some other included information would be useful.  I would definitely have to pick it through to see what actually may still apply today.

Almost 200 cards are included with the maps.  Each of these cards are numbered and have a picture of the country’s flag (or the flag which represented said country at the time the game was created) the capitol, population (dated) monetary unit, literacy rate, major languages, regions, export, import and seacoasts.  Though several cards may contain information that still applies today, many of them don’t.

Three of the maps have had major makeovers from the time that I learned them to when the game was manufactured to today.  And a lot of the card information could be correct, though I have not checked any beyond the flag.  Countries may have the same capitols that they did when the game was created.  But I know not all of them do. There are countries that didn’t exist back when the game was created and there are others that existed then that are only historic names today. Names and boundaries have changed all over the map.

Let’s go to the African continent on game map.  Western Sahara  is number 29 on the map.  The country was disputed territory for many decades – the majority is now ruled by Morocco from what I understand. And that’s just one example.  There are dot sized countries in Europe that I don’t remember ever having learned about.  It appears that there are two dot-sized countries within the country of South Africa – or were.  I’m certain that this map is not even close to current.

But this one is the same as when I learned it

and is the same today.  I like that.  And will go into more detail in my post tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Boundaries and Languages of the LDS Church

          The words ward and stake refer to the geographical boundaries of those who belong to the LDS Church.  A certain number of members are assigned to a certain building.

          First off there is a chain of command.  Perhaps it might be easier to an individual to compare the chain of authority (but not the religion itself) to a business or military leadership, let’s say.

          The CEO or President does not show up in every store, in every franchise, in every company that she or he has built.  They hire staff who they hopefully communicate to.  They in turn hold meetings at their assigned areas and let their people know what the CEO expects. 
          The corporate moves from states to cities – with even more employees representing the different locations within the surrounding areas.  This is how the chain of command operates.  This is how the CEO communicates to his fellow worker.

          In the LDS Church there is a Prophet who is referred as President of the Church.  He in turn has counselors.  They preside over what is known as the twelve apostles who in turn preside over the Quorum of 70’s.

          Each member of the 70 is assigned to preside over certain regions.  A region is a geographical boundary which includes several stakes.  Each stake is divided into wards and branches (a branch includes a much smaller membership than does a ward) who in turn each have a bishop (or branch president) and counselors.  And the chain of command goes through each region, each stake, each ward, etc. The boundaries are included in the Church organization.

          Recently, when we had visited with Roland’s family, I was trying to explain this to one of my sisters-in-law.  Our youngest son, Randy, was also having a similar conversation with another family member.

          In the past I had typed up the address of where we were staying to find the address of a nearby Church – and usually had a choice of locations (as the site brought up at least three surrounding in the area) but this year it gave only one.  I did not question it until we were driving there.  I don’t remember it having been such a long drive the last time we were there.  We had gone to another building in the years prior. But after the meeting started, I realized that it was a meeting where we needed to be.

          The first speaker warned the congregation that even though LDS language is familiar to its members, for many outside of the Church some of our words are a bit foreign (just as most military terms are to me; Tony can use initials and military terms when speaking to Roland and he will understand them, but I will not)

          We refer to the youth Sunday school as “Primary”.  Primary means first in sequence, most important, basic, original and relating to early education.  All of these definitions fit what primary is in the LDS Church.  Our youth are important.  They learn the basics of the gospel.  They have activities in primary.  They sing songs.  It’s an introduction designed for children.  It is inviting to most children, really.

          The teenage group is referred to as Young Men/Young Women.  Back in my day it was referred to as MIA:  Mutual Improvement Association.  (though there is the joke of many youth who seem to be missing in action) It is a program designed to help the youth to stay on course and create goals and achieve them. 

          The programs purpose is to help build self-esteem and awareness and offers guidelines on how to conduct one’s self and how to face daily living.  There are youth activities during the week in addition to the lessons given on Sundays.

          The Relief Society: the oldest and largest women’s organization in this or any other dispensation.  It teaches strength and gives counsel on rearing one’s family, on loving ourselves, on loving one another, on teaching, on learning, and just on rejoicing in being a daughter of God.

          Within the Relief Society is the visiting teaching program.  This program was designed to strengthen the welfare of each sister.  Several sisters will be assigned to visit a certain amount of sisters and/or families in the ward once a month – just to see how they are doing, to report back any concerns, to stay in touch with those who may not be coming to Church for whatever reason.

          There is a lot more to mormonology.  This post doesn’t even begin to touch the surface.  But perhaps I’ve accomplished a few things with a few readers.  Hopefully anyway.